Since I had an unexpected day off with Reese (she is home with fever) I took some time while she was resting to do some closet cleaning in her room. I have to be good at snatching clothes that don’t fit quite right or are stained and/or have a hole in it because Reese will still try and insist on wearing them because they are her very favorite of course.
I always also find toys that are well past their donation date and I have to be sneaky because all of a sudden a toddler toy she forgot even existed is now her very favorite and can’t dare to part with. Today in addition to all that I found the fish tank and fish accessories and I thought fondly about good ole Goldie and Pickles; Reese’s first pets and first first hand dealing with death.
Last summer we spent a few weekends hitting festivals and fairs. She loves to ride the rides and play the games and see the animals and eat the “spaghetti bread” (funnel cakes) with powder. At the DuPage County Fair Reese had some good luck at the fish toss and we came home with 2 new pets; Goldie and Pickles.
She was so thrilled and excited and John made sure we stopped on the way home to get a bowl and some gravel and all the other necessities. It was great to see her excitement but I feared the next morning.. when they are floating at the top and her pet dreams are crushed and we are having the toilet side funeral.
We talked to her about how sometimes the fish don’t work well in their new home and they may not make it. She seemed to understand but was certain they would be fine and THANK GOODNESS they were.
They were fine for many months to come and her interest in them slowly started to fade.. Shocking I know..such lovable, interactive pets..
Then one night we changed the water in their bowl and set them off to swim in their fresh water; which turned out to be their final voyage.
The next morning as Reese and I were rushing to get out the door for school and work I ran up to feed the fish and there they were- belly up.
No time for funeral, no time for sad talk about how everything dies and we took good care of them but that it still happens and so on. That would have to wait until the evening. I quickly got Reese in the car and told her the news. I told her it was ok if she felt sad. She said she was fine. Okay I thought maybe this will be okay.
That evening I told her I was going to take care of them and she asked how. At first the words “flush them down the toilet” seemed to upset her but then she remembered and declared “Oh so they can find the golden fish!” Umm.. Who??? Sure that sounds good- never heard that one before. She still seemed fine and happy that they were going to find that golden fish.
I plopped them gently into the toilet and she looked down and said in a sad voice “Aww, look at them”. I felt it coming.. It was finally sinking in. She was going to be sad and that means I was going to be sad- no fun..
10 seconds later she reached for the handle and squealed happily “Wheeeee!!! Look at them go!!!” as they swirled around the bowl. She walked out and that was it for Goldie and Pickles.